It’s harvest-time across the state which means orchards are laden with apples and farmers have begun pulling in their summer’s bounty. Join in the fun by celebrating the harvest at a few great events around town. Whether you’re looking for a family-friendly hoe-down festival, a party focused on one quirky vegetable, or a floating pumpkin race, these options guarantee you and the family a great time. Read on for more!

photo: mt. hood via flickr

Hood River Valley Harvest Fest

The valley is simply overflowing with fall harvests and bounty, and this annual festival on the waterfront is the place to get a taste! You’ll find fresh pears, berries, apples, pies, and more along with plenty of lovingly crafted goods from local artisans. The large kids area has plenty of activities (but nothing can beat the bouncy houses). And your tykes are sure to love watching a world-record giant pumpkin carver in action!

Oct. 14-16, Fri. 1-6 p.m.. Sat. 10 a.m. – 6 p.m., Sun. 10 a.m. – 5 p.m.
$6/adults; $3/seniors & active military on Fri., $5 on Sat. & Sun.; free for children under 12
Hood River Event Site
110 Portway Ave.
Hood River, Or
Online: hoodriver.org/events-festivals/chamber-events/harvest-festival

Cedar Mills Cider Fest

Watch as 1,000 pounds of apples are slowly pressed into delicious cider on the antique press. Slowly turned by the Boy Scouts of Troop 208, the non-alcoholic cider is free to taste and delicious! This is how pioneers pressed their apples into juice. Dig into more facts as you learn about Cedar Mill’s history among the craft booths, food vendors, and folk and bluegrass tunes. Tualatin Hills Park and Recreation District is bringing the Rec Mobile for plenty of fun and games for the kids, under the hickory tree.

Oct. 15, 1-4 p.m.
John Quincy Adams Young House Grounds
12050 NW Cornell
Cedar Mills, Or
Online: cedarmill.org/ciderfestival/

 

photo: rebecca via flickr

Portland Nursery Apple Tasting

Apples and pears are overflowing at this annual tasting event, with over 60 varieties to try! Besides fruit tasting, the event will have wine,  live music, freshly made cider from the Cider Press, a scarecrow contest, and kids activities like pumpkin and face painting. Try all the kinds to find your favorite, but leave room for the apple strudel!

Fri.-Sun. Oct 13-15, Fri.-Sun. Oct. 20-22, 10 a.m. – 5 p.m.
5050 SE Stark St.
Portland, Or.
Online: portlandnursery.com

Mushroom Festival

This quirky little festival celebrates all things fun(gi)! Stop by to learn about mushroom hunting with Guided Nature Walks, take a hayride around the beautiful ground of Mt. Pisgah, enjoy live music all day, and be astounded by the exhibit of over 300 local species! As a fun challenge for the kids, see who can find the mushroom variety that’s biggest, weirdest, most colorful, or most-likely-to-house-fairies. Then delight your taste buds with the delectable dishes (you may even win over a few mushroom-avoiders!) Face-painting, a scarecrow contest, arts and crafts, and more await.

Oct. 29, 10 a.m. – 5 p.m.
$8 suggested donation/adults, free for children under 12
Mt. Pisgah Arboretum
34901 Frank Parrish Rd.
Eugene, Or.
Online: mountpisgaharboretum.com/festivals-events/2017-mushroom-festival/

Onion Fest

The poor onion gets a bad rap sometimes, but you can lure the kids to this festival with promises of a silly stinky breath contest and a rousing competition of onion rolling! Live music, over 35 vendors, a chance to vote on the Best Dang Onion Dish, and plenty of kids activities can be found, as well. But let’s be honest–we’re all going for the onion rolling.

Oct. 14, 9 a.m. – 4 p.m.
Archer Glen Elementary School
16155 SW Sunset Blvd.
Sherwood, Or
Online: sherwoodchamber.chambermaster.com

 

photo: cory via flickr

West Coast Giant Pumpkin Regatta

This wacky event is one of the best. There’s not many places you can watch someone paddle a giant pumpkin down the river, dressed as a magical fairy, to boot! In it’s 14th year of fun, Tualatin Lake’s Regatta offers a whole day of races, costume contests for kids, pumpkin golf, pumpkin bowling, and clown and magic shows! Plenty of food and fun await, so don’t miss out on this crazy celebration.

Oct. 21, 10 a.m.- 4 p.m.
Free admission
Tualatin Lake of the Commons
8325 SW Nyberg St.
Tualatin, OR
Online: tualatinoregon.gov/pumpkinregatta

Cider Squeeze at the Philip Foster Farm

This is the only event where you can actually press your own apples (or use theirs) and take the fresh cider home with you! The historic Philip Foster Farm was an important part of Oregon history and demonstrates pioneer life in a fascinating way. Young visitors can try out the laundry scrubbing board, watch a blacksmithing demonstration, and check out corn grinding in the 1860’s barn! Live music, food, and crafts are around all day, as well. And don’t worry if you didn’t bring apples–you can still go home with a fresh jug of cider!

Sat. Sept. 16, 10 a.m. – 4 p.m. (Up to 2 gallons cider per family)
$5/person or $20/family
Sun. Sept. 17, 2-6 p.m. (unlimited squeezing, bring your own apples), free admission
Philip Foster Farm
22725 SE Eagle Creek Rd.
Eagle Creek, OR
Online: philipfosterfarm.com/pffwp/cider-squeeze/

What’s your favorite fall festival? Tell us in the comments below!

 

—Katrina Emery